ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREENUsual weather for the blue sky team saw us motoring up past Glencoe with fine views of the surroundings. This is Creise, just before Glen Etive, a mountain I've always fancied doing again. When you are bagging Munros, unless you are really keen, many only get one solitary ascent, and I fancied having a scramble up this mountain one last time as I remember it being good up the Glen Etive/ Glen Coe facing ridge.( route seen on the right hand side, above)
Ben Nevis north facing cliffs in bright sunlight. Not often you can say that. Looks spectacular in this light but the three hour walk into the base of the cliffs with a heavy climbing rucksack, (ropes, harness, rock shoes, etc.) always flattened my enthusiasm for summer rock climbs up here.
I was also disappointed by the way Alex's tent is all erect and tidy in this photograph and mine's always sags in the middle no matter which way I adjust the guy lines. Life is like that sometimes.
After pitching the tents in the early evening we wandered down to the rocky shoreline of Loch Cuaich for a small fire among the boulders as the midges and bloodsucking clegs were bad. Alex had a bag of wood for burning so we didn't have to burn any bog wood. Some of it looked alive, like this poor skeleton creature above who seems in pain.
In the morning, with hangovers from copious gurgling's of the water of life the night before we readied the boat as we were intending to glide down Loch Cuaich from our improvised campsite under Leac nan Gaidhseich all the way into the twin Dams at the far end, a distance of around 9 kilometres (18 return) and a considerable saving as the headland around Sron Lice na Fearna looked trackless and hard to walk around.
I was not impressed by our boats name as this creature spends as much time under water as it does floating on the surface. A bad omen in my opinion. In case of repercussions it shall remain nameless however.
It was a perfect morning, as usual, and even the appearance last night of the long forgotten cat stamper and baby throttler in the flames ( Cruella de Vil's evil daughter) couldn't dampen the spirits. It seemed a long way, even in Alex's magical flying carpet of a boat.
As it was a magical environment we were in.... a dragon duly appeared. Another catcher and avid devourer of small flying things. I hoped a cleg would fly by and I could watch it being eaten alive slowly the way they were chewing into me all the way up the hill.
The wild lands at the head of Loch Cuaich. Still a true wilderness area... for now.
Slabby sums up Ben Aden. Exposed bare rock flourishes on this mountain, like the alpine sundews thrive on the bogs below.
How come everyone we meet these days seems to be older yet fitter than us? It's not fair!
Mind you, I couldn't give up my fizzy drink, sugar drenched snacks, vodka, whisky, crisps and cheap meat based diet plan any more than Alex could give up cigarettes. One has standards on the hills to maintain!
The route down was the same as the route up, except steeper. " You wont like this next bit very much Bob. " Alex informed me looking down at a tricky steep wall with a rock pavement far below his feet for a landing . He was right.
A great trip in a fantastic area. Could do with a wind farm though. I've got so used to seeing them from every summit these days I missed them dreadfully.
Video this time is a real stunner. I first heard of the band Shriekback when I watched the film Manhunter, the first in the Red Dragon series, and thought it was as good as the more famous Silence of the Lambs that followed it. Shriekback do moody and dark instrumental scores for films occasionally and "Coelacanth" was the standout track for me on Manhunter as it really matched the action onscreen. Great music can really enhance films but it doesn't happen as often as it should.
The HD art work in this video is amazing. Probably the best images I've seen in this genre.
Should be watched full screen from the start.
Which brings me to Cloud Atlas. Against my better judgement, I purchased Cloud Altas (only £3 for a new film which says everything about the internet crushing fair prices for books and movies)
The book gets very good reviews online but anything that has six different stories taking place in different centuries is going to be hard to covert into a coherent film and so it proved. At three hours long and irritating switches between centuries, sometimes as short as six, minute long segments, spliced together, I lost the will to live long before the end. Especially with a gobbledygook language to learn thrown in for good measure. This is true, true! One of the reasons for watching it was the fact that Overtoun House above Dumbarton, setting for a recent post on this blog, was a star throughout the film.
The other was the fact that I'd actually watched Halle Berry, briefly, making her chunk in Glasgow around the same time that Brad Pitt was filming World War Z in George Square.(That's not a half bad film, as summer blockbuster zombie apocalypses go)
See post on that day here
As it was filmed in several different countries with a big name cast it must have cost a packet to make which , when you watch the above video, only goes to show throwing money at a film doesn't necessarily make it a success. This vision above of a spectacular alternative world, similar yet different from our own, beats Cloud Atlas hands down. Some of the best films I've seen have been small indie productions with a simple but great central idea.. like Juno.